Uncertainty continues over next House meeting in Delhi

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has stayed the re-election of six members of the Standing Committee of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and fixed March 22 for hearing the matter, with no clarity yet on whether the mayor’s house Can call the next meeting earlier or not. He. All the items included in the agenda of the first meeting of the House are yet to be considered.

A senior MCD official, on the condition of anonymity, said that the agenda for the first meeting of the corporation (approved by the Lt Governor) also included the election of six members of the standing committee. “Though the election of the mayor and deputy mayor has been completed, the first sitting of the House can be considered incomplete unless the six members are elected,” the official said.

However, officials say that the expenditure portion of the FY 2023-24 budget and the ‘schedule of posts’ will require approval from the House/Mayor by the end of March.

“As per the DMC Act, while the schedule of taxes needs to be approved by mid-February, the expenditure portion and schedule of posts (detailing posts in various departments) in the 2023-24 budget have to be approved by March. -Concluded by the House. If the election for six members and the first House meeting is not completed or the next House meeting is not convened, we will take advance approval from the mayor and subsequent approval from the House,” the official said. Officials said that in case of advance approval given by the House, the agenda should be tabled in the House within a month. Also, with the election of the Standing Committee yet to be completed, its formation before the next financial year looks uncertain.

“Unlike the posts of mayor and deputy mayor, which require fresh elections every financial year (starting in April), the standing committee is deemed to be formed when all the members are elected, with the chairperson being elected by a party with a majority. is nominated and the first meeting is called irrespective of any month. So as per the rules, half the members will retire after only one year of completion of the committee,” said a former civic official.

Former Chief Law Officer of the then North Corporation Anil Gupta said that an Attorney General’s opinion was also given in this regard.

Vijender Gupta, BJP MLA and former member of the standing committee in the MCD, said he challenged the matter after which the commissioner took a legal opinion and was told that April would not be the deadline for the standing committee. “This is because the formation of the Standing Committee is a time-consuming process, which takes place after the formation of the Regional Committees. Hence, their meetings cannot be stopped in the new financial year,” he added.

In the absence of the Standing Committee, the Mayor also has the power to give advance approval to the proposals placed before him by the Executive Wing. But these decisions have to be finally approved by the Standing Committee.
The Standing Committee consists of six members elected by the councilors at the first meeting and the rest from each of the 12 zonal/ward committees after their formation.